There have been periods in history when tattoos were deemed a “fad” that would pass in time but that has been proven different. There is now a vast majority of people who have at least one tattoo. Many actors, actresses and models proudly display their beautiful work for the world to see, yet most Americans cave under the pressure of society telling us to cover up. A slew of restaurants and retail jobs require all tattoos to be covered while on the clock. With the number of tattooed individuals rising each year, why is society still deeming the ink ‘unacceptable’?
Tattoos have truly held a prominent place in history – from tattooed sailors and pirates, Nazi’s tattooing those in camps, gang member initiation rituals, to tribe members in Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand using tattoos for protection against evil and to increase luck, the history of the art is quite remarkable. More often than not, companies will explain to employees that their tattoos, no matter what they’re of, will be offensive to consumers and patrons, again begging the question why? The numbers speak for themselves; a crowded elevator is likely to hold three or more tattoos so who are we really offending? Eleven percent of the older generation (50-64 year olds) fall under ‘tattooed’ and are the main culprits behind the offensive line. Although they may be offended current-day, back in the 1960s cosmetic tattooing became very popular (tattooed blush, lipstick, eyeliner) and in the later portion of the decade, tattoos were largely featured in magazines, TV shows, and film.
Americans have made tattooing very mainstream as television shows like Miami Ink, Ink Master, and Best Ink have become hits across the country
. Society raises us to believe that tattoos are a form of rebellion – a fact that has also been proven with studies showing 50% of people associating tattoos to rebellious behavior – but what we don’t grow up hearing about is the beauty of body art along with it’s history. As the years pass and the percentage of those with tattoos continues to grow, it’ll be hard to argue their offensiveness. After all, most of our ancestors were the ones to create different forms of tattooing!